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Transcript
Part of Raymond Arroyo's interview with Rick Warren on the EWTN show World Over
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Raymond Arroyo:        The Purpose Drive Life is the bestselling book in the world. 36 million plus copies. It’s been translated more than any book except the Bible. What is the key to that success? Why were so many people touched by that book and continue to be?

Rick Warren:        You know, Ray, There is not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that hadn’t been said for 2,000 years. I’ve just said it in a fresh way. I said it in a simple way. When I was writing Purpose Drive Life it took me 7 months, 12 hours a day. I’d get up at 4:30 in the morning. I’d go to a little study. Start at 5 a.m. I was fasting til noon and I would light some candles and I would start writing and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. One of the things I did before I wrote the book was, um, I’d ask the question—How do you write a book that lasts 500 years? For instance, um, Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Ok? The Dessert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila. All of these great, classic devotional works. Any one of them—I just realized that in order to be timeless you have to be eternal.

Raymond Arroyo:         What is your secret to reaching people every day, every week, not only in your writing but when you speak? What is it? What is this communication gift, if you will, If you could decode, because a lot of preachers would like to know.

Rick Warren:       Well, Jesus said I’ll make you fishers of men. And I like this fishing motif. And I think the first thing is you have to go where the fish are. Okay, they’re not at church. You gotta go to the marketplace. You gotta learn to think like a fish. You’ve got to know what they like to eat. You’ve got to drop the bait at the right level. You use all kinds of—Paul says I become all things to all men that I might in some way save some. I said when I’m with Jews I become like a Jew to reach Jews. When I’m with Gentiles like Gentiles to reach Gentiles. Today He would say when I’m in California I become a Californian to reach Californians.

Raymond Arroyo:         I should have left the tie at home. Is that what you’re saying, Rick?

Rick Warren:       Yeah, right. Well, the main thing is love always reaches people. It—Authenticity, humility. Pope Francis is the perfect example of this. He is a—He is doing everything right. You see, people will listen to what we say if they like what they see. And as our new pope he was very, very symbolic in, you know, his first mass with people with AIDS, uh, his kissing of the disformed man, his loving the children. This authenticity, this humility, the caring for the poor, this is what the whole world expects us Christians to do. And when we—when they go, oh, that’s what a Christian does—In fact there was a headline here in Orange County—and I love the headline. It said, if you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus. That was the headline!
I showed it to a group of priests I was speaking to a while back.

Raymond Arroyo: I love that! I wanted to take you back a little bit before we talk about your ministry, things you’re doing and have been doing and the example it has set for so many.

 

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